STATEMENT OF INTENT BETWEEN THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE NATIONAL SERVICE OF AGRO ALIMENTARY HEALTH, SAFETY AND QUALITY AND THE FEDERAL COMMISSION FOR THE PROTECTION FROM SANITARY RISKS OF THE UNITED MEXICAN STATES FOR COOPERATION ON THE PRODUCE SAFETY PARTNERSHIP FOR FRESH AND MINIMALLY PROCESSED PRODUCE1
The Food and Drug Administration of the United States of America (USFDA), of the one part, and the Mexican Food Safety Authorities - the National Service of Agro Alimentary Health, Safety and Quality (SENASICA) and the Federal Commission for the Protection from Sanitary Risks (COFEPRIS) – of the other part, collectively referred to as the “Participants,” – hereby state their mutual intention to work together to develop and implement a Produce Safety Partnership for fresh and minimally processed produce.
Using the food safety modernization efforts that are underway in each country, the Participants intend to develop strategic activities to collectively shape and implement a joint and multi-dimensional collaborative work-plan regarding the safety of fresh and minimally processed produce with an aim to achieve mutual confidence in one another’s respective produce safety systems for fresh and minimally processed produce.
The partnership should focus on preventive practices and verification measures for the growing, harvesting, packing, manufacturing/processing, holding, and transportation of fruit and vegetables that support high rates of compliance with standards, guidelines and best practices for the safety of fresh and minimally processed produce as established by Health and Food Safety Laws in Mexico and the United States, which are intended to reduce risk of illness or death associated with the consumption of fresh and minimally processed produce, and therefore to protect the public health of the citizens of each nation. The Participants intend to work collaboratively with the private sector to support the goals of this partnership.
In support of the goal of achieving high rates of compliance with standards for the safety of fresh and minimally processed produce of each nation, the activities developed under this partnership would help: facilitate a deeper understanding of each nation’s respective produce safety oversight systems for fresh and minimally processed produce; develop effective, culturally specific education and outreach materials that support industry compliance; identify common approaches for training of auditors who verify compliance with standards for the safety of fresh and minimally processed produce; enhance collaboration on regulatory laboratory activities; and expand collaboration on outbreak response and traceback activities.
Signed in Mexico City, Mexico on July 24, 2014, in triplicate in the English and Spanish languages.
ON BEHALF OF THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Margaret Hamburg, M.D.
ON BEHALF OF THE NATIONAL SERVICE OF AGRO ALIMENTARY HEALTH, SAFETY AND QUALITY OF THE UNITED MEXICAN STATES
Enrique Sánchez Cruz, DMV
Director in Chief, SENASICA
ON BEHALF OF THE FEDERAL COMMISSION FOR THE PROTECTION FROM SANITARY RISKS OF THE UNITED MEXICAN STATES
Mikel Andoni Arriola Peñalosa, J.D.
Federal Commissioner, COFEPRIS
1 USFDA’s definition of fresh-cut produce as included in USFDA’s “Guidance for Industry: Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, Food and Drug Administration (2008): “Fresh-cut fruits and vegetables or fresh-cut produce: fresh fruits and vegetables for human consumption that have been minimally processed and altered in form by peeling, slicing, chopping, shredding, coring, or trimming, with or without washing, prior to being packaged for use by the consumer or a retail establishment (e.g., pre-cut, packaged, ready-to-eat salad mixes). Fresh-cut produce does not require additional preparation, processing, or cooking before consumption, with the possible exception of washing or the addition of salad dressing, seasoning or other accompaniments.”